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The importance of gastrodiplomacy in decision-making

Gastrodiplomacy has always played a significant role in diplomacy, with desserts holding the position of sweet ambassadors.

Kumanovo, 2 July 2019 (MIA) – Gastrodiplomacy has always played a significant role in diplomacy, with desserts holding the position of sweet ambassadors. Recently, the people of Kumanovo had the opportunity to try some of Hungary’s traditional desserts, including Dobosh torte (a Hungarian sponge cake layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel), Zserbó szelet (a crispy pastry with walnut, apricot jam and a chocolate glaze), strudel, and Rigo Jancsi (chocolate mousse cake), at an art exhibition organized by the Embassy of Hungary.

The event marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Guests also had the opportunity to sample some of Hungary’s famous Tokaji wine and talk to the diplomats.

Stories about the history of Budapest and the invention of some of Hungary’s traditional desserts were presented on special panels.

Hungarian ambassador László Dux said that the exhibition marked several anniversaries for Hungary, including the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Hungarian Embassy, the 20th anniversary of Hungary’s accession to NATO and the 15th anniversary of its accession to the EU.

“The Hungarian government decided to mark these anniversaries by organizing cultural events throughout the Western Balkan countries. We’re thrilled to host this gastro-diplomatic event in Kumanovo.

“Desserts are an important part of Hungarian cuisine and although some of them are over a hundred years old, they remain popular to this day,” Dux said.

The ambassador’s favorite Hungarian dessert is Somloi galuska, a traditional trifle consisting of three layers of sponge (simple, cocoa and vanilla) scooped into balls and served with chocolate and whipped cream. His favorite desert from this region is walnut baklava.

Professor Laszlo Arpa and his culinary high school students, presented the desserts at the event.

“When making a Hungarian dessert, you must follow instructions to the letter. There are people who try to experiment with traditional recipes, but I’m not one of them,” Arpa explained.

President of the Council of Kumanovo Municipality, Atina Murgashanska said that there is no better place to talk about business, culture and diplomacy than over dinner.

“The dinner table is the place where we share experiences, both happy and sad, where we talk about our lives and our futures, and discuss art and culture.

“This event allowed us to sample the spirit of Hungary and share some of our own recipes, as well,” Murgashanska said.

The event was sponsored by the Directorate of Culture and Arts. The head of the Directorate Nikola Gligorov, talked about the successful collaboration between his institution and the Hungarian Embassy in organizing concerts, exhibits and other events.

Although over a hundred years old, Hungary’s renowned desserts remain popular to this day.

Aleksandra Maksimovska

Tr. by Monika Mihajlovska

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